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How Much Does Surrogacy Cost?

Choosing to grow your family through surrogacy involves the expertise of many professionals, including fertility specialists, lawyers, psychologists, and social workers. There is also, of course, the cost of a surrogate along with fees for assisted reproductive technology (ART) procedures, such as in vitro fertilization and, in some cases, egg donation. Having a solid team of professionals to help you navigate this complex process and an experienced agency to coordinate the journey all contribute to the cost of surrogacy.

What Makes Up the Cost of Surrogacy?

Surrogacy costs fall under 5 categories:

Each surrogacy case is unique, and the total cost depends on several factors. It’s important to note that these costs don’t include the price of IVF, which intended parents pay directly to their clinic. In general, you'll find that surrogacy costs can range from around $80,000 to upwards of $200,000.

 Read about Circle Surrogacy’s all-inclusive Journey Protection Guarantee Program.

Read about Circle Surrogacy’s all-inclusive Journey Protection Guarantee Program.

Agency Fees

Working with an experienced surrogacy agency provides intended parents peace of mind, giving them the security and confidence of knowing that experienced professionals are managing their journey for them.

Fees paid to a full-service agency cover the cost of tasks such as:

  • A thorough application process that ensures intended parents and surrogates are serious, committed, and able.
  • In-depth screening services to ensure all intended parents and surrogates are in a healthy state of mind, are emotionally stable, and meet the physical requirements for surrogacy.
  • One-on-one consultation to help you pick the proper surrogacy journey or program for you. 
  • Personal matching services that allow intended parents and surrogates to match with each other for the ideal surrogacy experience.
  • Coordination of information and communication between clinics, attorneys, accountants, social workers, and anyone else who may be involved in the various steps of your surrogacy process.
  • Support and counseling services to help you handle the emotional journey of becoming a parent.
  • Post-journey communication and guidance to ensure babies and surrogate mothers are healthy and doing well after delivery and returning home.
  • Post-birth return-to-home travel prep for parents. This involves ensuring intended parents’ travel plans are in order and providing information and support in obtaining their baby's passport if necessary. 

Take a deeper dive into what’s covered by a surrogacy agency fee in this blog post.

Screening & Support for the Surrogate Mother

Screening potential surrogates is a vital step that helps ensure intended parents are matched with healthy and committed surrogate mothers who can successfully carry a baby to term. The screening process involves:

Pre-screening: This includes checking an applicant’s pregnancy history and medical records, performing criminal and financial background checks, and compiling information about health insurance.

Social work screening: Social workers discuss a wide range of topics with the applicant, including her motivation, her family and interpersonal relationships, who’s part of her support network, what her expectations are for the surrogacy journey, and her views on termination and selective reduction.

Psychological exam: Each surrogate applicant must complete psychological testing through the Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI), which a licensed psychologist interprets.

How Much Does a Surrogate Cost?

The average cost of a surrogate ranges from $50,000 to $60,000, which includes base compensation and various benefits and expenses. The surrogate cost typically makes up the majority of intended parents’ surrogacy expenses.

Here is a general breakdown of surrogate costs:

Base compensation: $30,000-$40,000 ($40,000-$45,000 for California surrogates); experienced surrogates can earn an additional $5,000+ for each surrogacy journey.

Personal and home care payments: Monthly payments for surrogate spending, maternity clothes, and housekeeping.

Child care, travel, and lost wages: Includes travel for screening and embryo transfer, mileage reimbursement, cost of child care or lost wages, and the lost wages of the surrogate’s travel companion.

Fourth-trimester (post-birth) care: Flex spending, lost wages or child care during recovery, meals, reimbursement for breast pumping supplies and pumping payments.

Other costs may be incurred in specific cases, such as if bed rest is needed, if the pregnancy includes multiples, or if a C-section is necessary.

Learn more about how much a surrogate makes.

Legal Fees

The surrogacy process is complex and requires lawyers with the expertise to accurately interpret an evolving area of law that varies from state to state—or even county to county or judge to judge. A lawyer helps hopeful parents navigate their state laws (or country laws) as well as the carrier’s state laws. Situations may arise where additional legal representation is needed, especially regarding establishing parental rights.

Situations which involve lawyers during the surrogacy journey include:

Drafting the Carrier Agreement: This is the legal contract between intended parents and surrogates, which spells out the rights and responsibilities of each party.

Egg Donor Agreement: This contract provides intended parents with the control of all eggs retrieved from the donor, as well as any resulting embryos.

Establishing Parental Rights: Depending on the state’s surrogacy laws, lawyers for intended parents obtain pre-birth or post-birth court orders that ensure the intended parents are the sole parents of the child. Other considerations that may require legal representation include ensuring that birth certificates reflect proper parentage and that intended parents enjoy all parental rights under state law.

Insurance Costs

Intended parents are responsible for the surrogate’s medical expenses, so it’s important that a health insurance plan covers those expenses. Intended parents are responsible for all costs related to IVF for their gestational carrier or egg donor.

The types of insurance needed in a surrogacy journey include:

  • Complications insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Maternity insurance
  • Backup to maternity coverage

Life insurance limits the intended parents’ liability if a surrogate passes away and compensates her family for their loss.

 Circle Surrogacy’s all-inclusive cost program enables us to include insurance at a fixed price to help control costs. With our exclusive Journey Protection Guarantee Program, you'll pay insurance costs of $20,000.

Circle Surrogacy’s all-inclusive cost program enables us to include insurance at a fixed price to help control costs. With our exclusive Journey Protection Guarantee Program, you'll pay insurance costs of $20,000.

Surrogacy Cost FAQs

As you consider the cost of surrogacy as intended parents, you’ll likely have questions. Here are answers to some of the most common questions we hear:
How can you reduce the total cost of surrogacy?
While you probably will not find large discounts on surrogacy, you can help your surrogacy journey cost a little less. First, talk to more than one fertility clinic. Circle Surrogacy has partnered with many clinics over the years, and working with one of these partner clinics may give you access to a special, negotiated rate. However, these clinics are all different and offer a variety of programs. Second, you can see if you have a friend or family member willing to act as your surrogate. Circle has a Surrogacy With Your Own Surrogate program that provides cost savings.
Is surrogacy covered by insurance? Will my insurance cover surrogacy?
There are times when your gestational carrier's health insurance may cover surrogacy. Circle Surrogacy is diligent about reviewing maternity insurance policies of surrogates to see if they will cover a surrogate pregnancy. And when surrogates aren’t adequately covered, we can facilitate high-quality, surrogacy-specific insurance coverage for your surrogate. In other words, the Circle team will ensure that your entire surrogacy journey is financially stable and protected by top-tier health insurance.
How much does surrogacy cost if you use a friend?
Surrogacy costs may be slightly less if you use a family member or friend.
Can you do surrogacy for free?
Some intended parents find a family member or friend who will be their surrogate at no charge; however, there are fees associated with the professionals involved and the process itself.